20:47 GMT29 October 2020
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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)
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    Some might be surprised by how determined the Russian president is to destroy Daesh, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State, but it reflects Putin's credo he himself voiced: "If a fight is inevitable, you have to hit first," Il Giornale reported.

    This determination is paying off.

    "Russian jets have been launching airstrikes at Daesh and al-Qaeda militants in Syria for two months. Moscow's campaign was authorized by the Syrian government, which makes it legitimate under international law. In this short period of time Russian forces have done more that the US-led coalition," the Italian newspaper noted.

    Due to Putin's decisive actions in Syria, Russia has become one of the key interlocutors of the US and Europe.

    Moscow's counterterrorism campaign in the Middle East is not meant to alienate Muslims at home. Although Russia is home to different cultures and religions, including Islam, Putin has succeeded in finding a balance that helps to avoid religious conflicts within the country. 

    "On the one hand, Putin is trying to defeat Daesh, since many Russians joined the ranks of the brutal group, but on the other hand he opened the largest mosque in Europe," the Italian newspaper noted.

    In his opening speech, the Russian leader emphasized that moderate Islam has nothing to do with terrorists, like Daesh, who "discredit the great world religion" through an ideology based on "lies." He also urged Russian Islamic leaders to stand against radicalism.

    Russia, according to the publication, has sought the support of the Islamic world but also strengthened ties with the Orthodox Church. Putin's "alliance" with Pope Francis, as the newspaper put it, should also not be underestimated. They met twice much to Obama's concern.

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    Russia Versus ISIL in Syria (618)

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    Tags:
    Middle East, Daesh, Islam, Islamic extremism, radical Islam, counterterrorism, Vladimir Putin, Syria, Russia
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